ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Next Tuesday, Missouri voters will have two choices when it comes to Prop A (“Right to Work”): voting “yes” means that no one can be required to pay union dues or be forced to join a union as a condition of employment; voting “no” would overturn the measure, meaning if your job requires it, you’d need to join a union and pay their dues.
“It’s not a question of being pro-union or against unions, as a matter of getting workers a choice," said State Senator Bob Onder.
Onder, a Republican, said he supports Prop A.
“If, for instance, you’re a bagger at a unionized grocery store and you’re making minimum wage and you’re not getting health insurance, you’re not a part of the pension plan, why should you be forced to pay union dues for it as a condition of employment? And there are many workers across the state of Missouri that are exactly in that situation.”
Scott Eschenbrenner, who works at a local grocery store, acts as a shop steward for their union. He is against Prop A.
“A lot of the contract is about quality-of-life. It’s not just about wages and that it’s about shifts and hours between shifts, different things, safety," he said.
Eschenbrenner said he feels like the union offers him protection, which is something that works because everyone contributes. But there’s debate over the economic impact of having a unionized state when businesses look to relocate.
“Forty percent rule out states that are forced-union states, states that aren’t freedom to work states, so the opportunities could really double overnight. By doing this one thing, adopting freedom to work," Onder said. “The number of jobs isn't the important thing, it's the quality of jobs."
St. Louis County election officials project a 35 percent voter turnout Tuesday, with this issue being one of the main drivers to the polls. That's up from the less than 30 percent of voters who typically show up for midterm primaries.